What’s a havurah?


A havurah aims to be an intimate community where deep, caring, supportive relationships are fostered between the members of the group as they share and explore a Jewish focus of their own choosing. The group sets its own agenda, is peer-led, and meets on an ongoing basis. The havurah should ultimately have a minimum of seven people, meet nine times a year or more, have a Jewish focus and shared leadership.

The Havurah Initiative


The Havurah Initiative is one of the joint programs between Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) and Jewish Federation. 


We currently have 6 active Havurot in our community and can support more! New Havurot can get up to $1,000/year for program expenses and supplies, and each connector can receive up to an additional $1,000/year. Grants are available for the first two years of the Havurah being active.

Our Havurah

Achdut Havera is a group that gathers as needed to plan a kosher parve cafe menu, bake and cook under kosher supervision, and bring our popup cafe once a month to all kinds of venues. We also work on a program for each evening, such as a music night or open poetry mic. We welcome planners, bakers, shleppers, cheerleaders, and everyone else! All Jews are welcome! Everyone is welcome at the WANDERING JEW CAFE. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Susie Rosenburg: sdw1255@aol.com.

Teanoki is a spin-off of the Hebrew word for Baby, Teanok תינוק. The purpose of our Havurah is to build a sense of camaraderie for those with children aged 0-1.  We will create a means of communication for parents to foster meaningful friendships by attending community events and sharing everything Jewish. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Rachael Schertzer: asmartkid@aol.com.

Schenectady Young Families Havurah is a group consisting of young families looking to connect within their community, Jewishly. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Ilene Friedman: ilene_friedman@yahoo.com.

Hebrewly is a group of Hebrew-speaking individuals (ranging from beginner to advanced/fluent speaking) engaging in regular daily activities, from a Hebrew language lens. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Tsila Waldman: tsila37@gmail.com.

Machers & Mavens is a group of mature couples who originally bonded over games of Mah Jongg and Canasta, who want to continue their connection through a variety of social and Jewish activities. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Randy Fox: randfox@gmail.com.

Active Empty Nesters is a havurah group designed and created for those members of our community whose children have “flown the nest.” To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Paula Metzner: metzner.paula@gmail.com.

Clifton Park Young Families is a Havurah geared towards families looking to connect with other families located in the Clifton Park region. To learn more about this Havurah, please contact Erik Lustgarten: eriklg@gmail.com.

 For more information about The Havurah Initiative, contact:

Lakota Lustig

(518) 783-7800 ext. 228